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As part of our mission we have a responsibility to provide innovative products that enhance quality of life by helping people see better. Alcon also extends this responsibility to the way in which we support eye care practitioners and their support teams.


At Alcon we are committed to the professional development of optometrists, contact lens opticians and their support teams. Our dedicated team of experienced practitioners deliver this promise daily in settings that work for you. Our CET offering includes peer discussion, skills workshops and lectures on a range of contemporary topics that have been developed according to you and your peers’ feedback. In addition to this we offer other non-CET training to broaden your professional development and enhance your patient offering.

We see the benefits in providing training for all members of a practice team and provide training programmes that can be tailored to an individual or delivered to a larger group. Our training is designed to fit to your schedule and can be delivered in your practice, online, at events and conferences, or at our state of the art Alcon Academy at a time that suits you.


Meet the Team


David Smithwick

Dave qualified as a Contact Lens Optician 20 years ago and has worked in a number of large practices from London to Exeter. He has worked as a locum across several stores in the South West for the last 4 years before joining Alcon as a Practice Development Manager.
Dave has personally supervised and trained over 20 pre-reg Optometrists and trainee Contact Lens Opticians and has been responsible for the creation and presenting of pre-reg course material. He has held management roles within practice with a passion for driving high customer service levels. Dave is the newest member of our team having joined us at the start of 2019.

Eddie Pigott 

Eddie is a qualified Optometrist working for Alcon as Professional Services Manager and is on the Council for the College of Optometrists for the South East. Eddie joined the team in 2016 and he has extensive practice experience having worked across a range of independent practices with varying demographics, as well as in multiples and domiciliary work. He has experience fitting a variety of soft lenses as well as rigid gas permeable lenses and has travelled to Africa to complete a program with Unite for Sight lasting over 2 months as a volunteer Optometrist. Eddie has experience of training Pre-reg and student Optometrists, as well as the training of non-clinical staff. 

Jim Dickson

As a qualified Contact Lens Optician Jim has been fitting contact lenses for many years. He has broad experience having worked in a variety of practices, as well as establishing a successful Joint Venture. Jim brings a wealth of experience in contact lens fitting and has a particular interest in how to help practices succeed with their contact lens database.

He has facilitated courses for pre-reg Optometry students as well as creating and delivering courses for contact lens manufacturers. Jim has been with Alcon since 2012 and currently works as a Practice Development Manager.

Jonathon Bench 

Jonathon is an Optometrist, graduating from Cardiff University.  He has worked as resident and mobile optometrist in both multiple and independent practices, and been a Joint Venture partner, before moving into contact lens category management.  He also has experience of supporting eye care practitioners in both the UK and Canada, to develop and enhance their contact lens business.

Jonathon now works as Head of Professional Affairs for Alcon, where amongst other things he looks after their in-house (Alcon Experience Academy™) and in-field professional development teams and offering; delivering training, support and education to eye care practitioners throughout the UK and Ireland.

In 2015, Jonathon was elected to serve on BCLA council, and as of 2018 sits on their Executive Committee as President Elect.  Through this and other commitments to the Optometric profession he has also been part of working parties at the General Optical Council (GOC).


Karin Brown-Balvert  

Karin has 25 years of clinical experience both in Independent and multiple practice, as a Dispensing Optician, Manager and Contact Lens Optician: fitting a wide variety of lenses including multifocal, rigid gas permeable and Orthokeratology. Karin also has experience of presenting at conferences across the UK. 

Karin has been a Practice Development Manager for Alcon since 2015.


Neil Harvey

Neil has been fitting contact lenses since 1986 from the conventional lenses of the day, through all the changes into regular replacement and disposables. Neil started educational presenting in 1988 whilst working for an independent group of practices. 

Neil has also managed independent and multiple opticians at both practice and regional levels as well as having gained qualifications in sports psychology which help to encourage and challenge thinking, and change in behaviours. Neil has worked in Professional Affairs with Alcon since 2011 and is currently a Professional Services Manager. 


For more information please contact our Professional Affairs team, or speak to your Alcon Business Development Manager or Alcon Practice Development Manager.